A win for Patong would see them extend their lead at the top of the table, while Jabudays were looking to bounce back after their recent defeat to Laguna and put themselves in contention for a finals berth.
In a thrilling match, the old phrase “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings” seemed very appropriate as the teams slugged it out to secure victory. Ultimately, the Jabudays lads just held on, hitting the winning runs with just one wicket in hand and six balls to spare.
After winning the toss, Patong chose to bat first, hoping to set a big target. They got off to a solid start with openers Mike Khan (12) and Seemant Raju (21) putting on a 46 run partnership before Khan eventually fell in the 8th over.
Patong then suffered the untimely dismissal of David Watson (12) just a few balls before the 10 over drinks break.
A mini batting collapse then ensued after the break with the loss of some further cheap wickets, and at 5 wickets down for 89 runs in the 16th over, a couple of good partnerships were needed to stop the innings going into cardiac arrest.
Captain Anthony Van Blerk (15) and Neil Quail (32) did just what the doctor ordered with a 43 run partnership, before Van Blerk was bowled in the 23rd over with the score on 6-132.
This brought Thai youngster, Pao (43), to the crease, who top-scored for his side and guided the innings to a respectable 200 runs for the loss of 9 wickets from their allotted 35 overs.
The pick of the bowlers for Jabudays was Ali Khan (4 for 32) while the other five bowlers picked up one wicket each.
After the lunch break, Jabudays were looking to get off to a solid start while the blistering hot sun beamed down on the ground.
But the Jabudays batsmen started dropping like flies, and at 4 wickets down for 14 runs in only the 4th over, Patong were circling like vultures hoping to wrap up the innings quickly and return to the clubhouse early to enjoy a refreshing cold beverage.
However, Deepak Mehra (59) and Ali Khan (52) had other ideas, and staved off an early adjournment to the dressing rooms with an impressive 120 run partnership.
Kahn eventually fell after top edging a ball to mid-wicket with the score on 5-134. Surender Kumar (32) then joined Mehra at the crease and they put on another useful partnership of 47 runs, edging closer to the 201 run target, until opening bowler Richard Desmond was re-introduced into the bowling attack and skittled Kumar’s stumps in the 29th over with the score on 6-181.
Mehra then fell just two runs later with a couple of balls before drinks, cheekily attempting a reverse sweep but popping it up into the waiting hands of Neil Quail at backward point.
At 7-183 at the 30 over drinks break, had Patong left it too late or would Jabudays suffer another batting collapse as the pressure was ratcheted up a notch?
Balesh Dessai (12 not out) and Vikram Sharma strode out confidently after the break and Dessai immediately hit a massive six out of the ground.
But the Patong lads struck back with David Watson bagging a couple of quick wickets and was on a hat-trick with Jabudays now 9 wickets down for 195 runs. It was still anyone’s game for the taking.
Number 11 for Jabudays, Paresh Borkar, was feeling a heavy weight on his shoulders as he tried to keep the Patong bowlers at bay. He eventually managed to hit one through the covers to secure the winning runs to the rapturous cheers of his team mates.
Pick of the bowlers for the Patong was Richard Desmond (3 for 25) with Pao, Manesh Sadarangani and David Watson picking up two wickets each.
The result means that while Patong still remain on top of the league table, Jabudays have thrown themselves into the mix and are holding on to second place.
This week at the ACG, Thanyapura News Tigers (TNT) will take on Jabudays, with TNT needing a win to stay in touch with the league leaders.